What is your competition doing for business?

Mortgage and Lending with Credit Werx, LLC.


I really think that this is an important question to ask yourself. How can you compete if you do not know where the goal posts are?

My colleague Travis Carter and I have experimented with this a little bit. In posts like this that reference interest rates you need to take note of the time stamp on the post.

I had a client call me up and tell me that Community Bank is offering her a 5.875% on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. Her qualifications are lacking in that her scores are below 700 and she is looking for a cash out refinance. She explained something to me about it being Community Bank's "secondary product".

I called Community Bank to find out what they are offering. I called up and simply asked "what is your rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage?" because that is a very common question in this business. The lady on the other end of the phone who was very nice by the way told me that she can give ME a 5.875% on a 30 year fixed. She did not even ask my name before quoting me a rate let alone pull my credit or even ask me any questions about my income.

I thanked her kindly and moved on.

Travis has a client whom he is working with who he experienced something similar with. His client came in to the office and said that Wells Fargo was offering her a 5.875% rate and again this borrower was not truly qualified for that rate. Travis told her to take it; partially because if she really could get that rate he would prefer her to take it than to take his loan at a higher rate and partially because he knew that it was not out there. After she left he then called Wells Fargo and explained to them that he is in the business and he knows what is out there and that he is looking to finance some property. He gave his client's scenario to the LO anonymously and he was given a quote of 6.375%. Shortly after that his client called him up and explained to him that the rep at Wells Fargo cannot do what she promised after having pulled and reviewed credit.

Since then I have been calling my competition anonymously just to see what approach they are taking and I have to tell you, I am amazed that some of my competitors are still in business. I can't believe how some of these people get away with operating out there.

After having spoken to much of my competition I am quite confident with regard to our position within our local market. I truly feel that there is no-one left to compete with. As long as we keep doing what we are doing our market share will continue to increase.

Anyone else have these kind of experiences? Please share; It is vital to know what t6he competition is doing and I was pleasantly surprised to see how lackluster the performance is of most of my competitors in my local market area.

Thanks for reading; I welcome your comments.

Posted by

Christopher Ohlsen

37 Boynton Ave

(845) 243-5293 (Office)

(518) 565-0799 (Cell)





Comments (5)

Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

This has been happening for years in my area.  I have even seen advertising in print that works to deceive this way as well... with the most common theme being the State first time buyer programs.

After 20+ years in this business, I can still put my head on the pillow at night and not lose sleep over being dis honest.  But I do have to say, it still bugs me when I lose a deal to some one that doesn't know there is a "t" in the word Mortgage!  and there are times when I have given people too much information ... Life is a balancing act, and we need to continually learn from our experiences.

May 19, 2008 08:00 AM
Jimmy McCall
JimmyMcCall.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant

Christopher,  It is sad that our industry has become nothing more than a commidity.  Thus, people expect to be quoted a rate when they call and they usually are not willing to allow a credit check. 

May 19, 2008 08:04 AM
Christopher Ohlsen
Credit Werx, LLC. - Malone, NY

Robert - I know that many companies were operating like this during the refi-boom era but I am a little surprised that they are still operating that way. I can only imagine that they must be fighting for every closing that they get. Fighting with the underwriters, fighting with the borrowers, fighting with the appraisers... Probably fighting with the Realtors®. I just cannot conceive how any of these people can conduct business the way that they are and not get sick of being in the business. I mean if you have to fight for ever single meal because you live in a den with lions... Maybe its time to move out.

Jimmy - Somewhat; a lot of people do expect to be quoted a rate right there on the spot without having submitted the appropriate information. I do not take the bait. I explain that there is no way for me to know what they qualify for before taking an application. In most cases people recognize the honesty and they co-operate with me to complete the application. In those cases where they will not give me the information no matter what I say I will tell them a range in where they should come in depending on what their "Income, Credit, and available Equity" look like.

May 19, 2008 08:30 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Christopher... I agree with what you are syaing.... but you don't share with us in what you would do differently?  or ask?  I say this, because when I write about my competition, I usually point out to the consumer, what their loan officer should be asking them..... as I did here : A letter to your loan officer from you, the consumer...... Just a FYI of what I do and say to people... instead of just saying, your previous loan officer didn't ask the right questions or direct you well.  thanks

jeff belonger

May 26, 2008 07:39 AM
Christopher Ohlsen
Credit Werx, LLC. - Malone, NY

Jeff - I appreciate your candor and the advice that you have left me with. I have read and commented on several of your posts and I see what you mean. I make it a point to deliver and I send literature directly to each client that specifically outlines what I will do for them differently however you are right, I have to continue to improve my public writing in this way in order to drive more traffic to my literature and therefore procure more business from the web. Thank you for the comment and the wise tip!

May 26, 2008 01:28 PM

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